Strange White Sticks on Underside of Leaves - Please Help!

katrimcMay 28, 2010

Hi all,

I'm not expert when it comes to plant care, so I am really concerned about this epidemic that's spreading through my yard. It's affecting every single plant -- the shrubs, the trees, the flowers. I tried searching everywhere for a solution, and the closest I've found were mealy bugs, but I'm not too sure that's what it is.

There is a single white, stick-like thing on the under-side of every leaf in my garden plants. The leaves were wilting and yellowing. It's been very hot and humid here in the last week, so could that be it, or could that be a factor?

It's spreading quickly through my yard, and I'm really getting nervous! Any and all help in identification and management will be greatly appreciated!

(I've included the best image that I could get. Hopefully it'll be of some use!)

Image link:

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katrimc

Here's a clearer picture.

Here is a link that might be useful:

    Bookmark   May 28, 2010 at 11:46AM
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dan_staley(5b/SS 2b AHS 6-7)

With quality of foto hard to tell but looks like cottony cushion scale from here.

Dan

    Bookmark   May 28, 2010 at 12:37PM
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jean001(z8aPortland, OR)

If a cottony scale, those are soft fluffy masses filled with eggs.

To determine if that's true, gently disrupt one or several. If the white encloses eggs, likely those eggs will be small, pink and very numerous.

If so, start obliterating -- squishing -- all that you see.

    Bookmark   May 28, 2010 at 8:24PM
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tdscpa(z5 NWKS)

Or, possibly mealybugs. They were all over my tomatoes last year, and have showed up again this summer.

Here is a link that might be useful: Mealybugs

    Bookmark   May 31, 2010 at 12:37AM
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jean001(z8aPortland, OR)

Mealybugs are oval, not elongated as is shown in the image.

    Bookmark   June 1, 2010 at 1:32AM
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weedlady(Central OH 6)

Taking a sample (a branch with several specimens) to your extension office should get you an ID and they also will be able to tell you what to do. My preliminary thought is that it sounds like a case for insecticidal soap spray--but find out for sure what you are dealing with first!

    Bookmark   June 3, 2010 at 4:34PM
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rhizo_1 (North AL) zone 7

I'd be willing to bet money that they are one of the cottony scale insects.

    Bookmark   June 3, 2010 at 9:37PM
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jean001(z8aPortland, OR)

I'm with rhizo.

    Bookmark   June 4, 2010 at 1:45AM
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dan_staley(5b/SS 2b AHS 6-7)

Me three ;o)

Dan

    Bookmark   June 4, 2010 at 11:05AM
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buddyrose

Yes, cottony scale. I have them also.

Here's a link with great photos and description.

Here is a link that might be useful: Bugs

    Bookmark   June 4, 2010 at 4:23PM
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katrimc

Thanks for the help, guys! I really appreciate it. I've managed to keep them under control. Now I just hope they won't come back around!

    Bookmark   June 5, 2010 at 3:36PM
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